A round of films have been nabbing some reliable stars in those golden days of pre-production, so it’s time to discuss a few. First up, THR let us know Patricia Clarkson and Zachary Booth (Keep the Lights On, Damages) are planning to star in Last Weekend, which will mark the debut of writers-directors Tom Dolby and Tom Williams.
With Joseph Cross, Devon Gray, Jayma Mays, Chris Mulkey, Alexia Rasmussen, and Rutina Wesley also chipping in their talent, Weekend is a familial drama centered on an older couple (Clarkson and Mulkey) whose Lake Tahoe estate — the same one used for A Place in the Sun — is visited by their two sons, their friends, and a bunch of partners for a couple of days. Soon, “[l]eisure gives way to chaos as a series of events disturbs the wife’s carefully planned festivities, and the future of the family and the house becomes uncertain.” Booth will be seen as one of the couple’s children.
Next, Variety report that Nate Parker (Arbitrage, Red Hook Summer) will take a big part in Non-Stop. This airline-set thriller, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Orphan), stars Liam Neeson as a federal air marshal whose ordinary flight is, to put it lightly, interrupted when a domestic terrorist makes it his goal to kill one passenger, every twenty minutes, if the protagonist doesn’t commit suicide. John Richardson and Chris Roach are behind the screenplay, while Joel Silver‘s Silver Pictures will make this their first outing for Universal.
Parker‘s role, as it’s (rather simply) described, is a fellow passenger assisting everyone’s favorite Irish ass-kicker. Not the worst start, I guess, though there’s a concern it won’t actually lend him a meaty part with which to bite into — seeing as the guy is actually one of his generation’s better onscreen talents. (Best exemplified, personally, by the fact that I could barely recognize him from role-to-role-to-role.) We’ll find out sooner rather than later, as Non-Stop begins production in only a few weeks.
On a note more similar to the latter than the former, Variety have also learned that Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) is entering into the female Expendables riff which is already expected to star Gina Carano. We’re still not being told what, exactly, the movie will revolve around — as if, admittedly, that actually means anything — though Ari Shankar, producing through 1984 Private Defense Contractors, is still touting her cast.
When talking about Sackhoff, she said the actress “would pwn [yes, really] most male action stars.” A few others of the female type are continuing to look toward this project; with two strong presences, I expect more to fall in line.
Does Last Weekend have a good level of pedigree by its side? Is Parker a wise pick to appear in Non-Stop?